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Harry Potter fans descend on Chestnut Hill for Potter Festival

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View all photos here.

Harry Potter fans swarmed the attractions along Germantown Avenue on Saturday for the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Festival. At Top of the Hill Market, Dan Lemoyne, a Harry Potter/Daniel Radcliffe doppelganger, obligingly struck poses with adoring fans for photos. Meanwhile Professor Dumbledore employed his sorting hat to assign “students” into different Houses of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft. Lemoyne and friends Alyssa Alberto and Lisa Makhoul   offered their responses to the question. “What role does fantasy play in your life?” Watch video here.

Cynthia Day and Therese Tiger gave out brownies to raise funds for “Autism Speaks” a project of their daughters at the Springside School.  Research is aimed at determining what environmental factors may be triggering genetic predispositions to the sensory/social/developmental disorder. Why table at the Chestnut Hill Harry Potter Festival? The crowds. But Tiger’s husband George drew a parallel between his autistic nephew  and Harry Potter, both teens facing the normal teen challenges  and, in addition, possessing special powers. Watch video here.

Outside the Ministry of Magic (Chestnut Hill Visitor’s Center) a man was taking a photo of two young hooded women, one very colorfully attired, betwixt lifesize cardboard cutouts of Professor Dumbledore and Harry Potter. The women simply had happened to wander into the Harry Potter Festival wearing the garb of their homeland, Saudi Arabia. Instructional technology students at Chestnut Hill College, they were pleased to find themselves amid the festivities. “It’s fun,” said one who had read the first two books in the Potter series. Watch video here.


New baby, new studio at CH Fall for the Arts Fest

The youngest person at Chestnut Hill’s Fall for the Arts festival Sunday may have been two day-old Xavier Brubaker.  Sleep-deprived but happy parents Japheth and Suzanne recently returned to Chestnut Hill with their 2 year-old daughter, Quinn, to be closer to family. They were the southernmost exhibitors at the festival, promoting their new fitness and personal training studio, "Water and Rock," at 8109 Germantown Avenue. Visit http://waterandrockstudio.com/ for more information.

New baby, new training studio

Watch video interview here.


GO MO MATH - Math Museum of NYC

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We arrived at the Museum of Math one hour before closing on a Saturday in late summer and zipped through it. The exhibits deserved more than the limited time we gave them and these videos, summarized below, will help us understand what we experienced with the intriguing interactive demonstrations. GO MO MATH!

SHAPES OF CONSTANT WIDTH You sit on a boat-shaped platform above a field of irregularly shaped objects and yet glide rather smoothly over them because these objects, such as the Meissner tetrahedron, all have the same constant diameter whichever way they roll.

SQUARE WHEELS, CATENARY CURVES You ride a tricycle with square wheels without any problem. This is because the surface you are riding on is catenary curved (hyperbolic cosine). And, for any shaped wheel, there is a corresponding road that will facilitate locomotion.

A SPECIAL SQUARE When you and others step upon this large lit-from-below square, the square divides into as many differently colored geometric areas as there are people and each point within any one’s area is closer to that person than to any one else.

THE HUMAN FRACTAL TREE On a projection screen, a copy of your body is copied where your arms are and on those projections, your body is again copied where your arms are and so on, forming a fractal pattern of you as a tree.

SOLIDS OF REVOLUTION SLICED TWISTED, REATTACHED AND ROLLED Solids of revolution are cut along the axis of symmetry and then twisted and reattached to form an asymmetric object which then describes a distinct path when it rolls and it’s your job to match up each object with the trail it makes.


Vaulting bride and groom sculpted by blind uncle

Vaulting couple marries

Michael Gieschen, left

Because Mike Gieschen’s niece met her fiancée while competing at vaulting event, a passion they share, the blind artist decided to create a wedding gift depicting their shared hobby. (Vaulting is essentially the striking of gymnastic poses atop a horse).

Constructed of celluclay and smoothed with joint compound, built over a wire and paper armature, a male and female couple are shown, each standing on one leg atop a horse with an arm around the other’s waist, the other arm extended horizontally forward and the other leg extended horizontally back as if they were flying. Taking artistic license, not knowing whether this is an actual vaulting pose, Gieschen, in this work, expresses his hope that the newlyweds will soar together and happily in their new life together. The couple marries today

watch video here


Pick your own berries

Picking strawberries

The “locally” grown strawberries that are now showing up at Chestnut Hill groceries can be yours for the picking at farms in Montgomery and Bucks Counties and in New Jersey in nearby Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. A comprehensive guide can be found at as http://www.pickyourown.org Bill Roach’s family has a tradition of picking fruits and vegetables every year.  They got a start this past holiday  weekend at Rowand’s Farm in Glassboro, New Jersey. The large strawberry patch, laid out in neat long raised beds, were flush with heavy, red, ripe berries when we arrived but a short hour later families like ours had harvested all but the unripe pink and white berries. The Roaches move from farm to farm in the area and will also be picking cherries, blueberries, raspberries and more as those crops come in. Watch video here.


Offspring of the European Beech and its admirers

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In October of 1999, Bill proposed to his now wife while sitting on a bench under their favorite tree at the Morris Arboretum in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, a huge European beech on the upper slope. The tree was badly damaged about a year later and only the decaying snag remains. But the tree is surrounded by its offspring, a circle of tall, closely spaced trees which had taken root where the original beech's long, pendulous branches had touched the ground. On a recent fall day, the family, now consisting of a 7 and 9 year old were revisiting the special place.

Watch video interview here.


Fighting the dark arts on and off the quidditch pitch

October 26th through October 28th marked Harry Potter Weekend in Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia.

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As part of the festivities 16 college quidditch teams competed in the 3rd Annual Philadelphia Brother Love Cup at Chestnut Hill College. In an initial match, it appeared that "The Hex" of the Ithaca Community team got trounced by "Those Guys" out of...where?

A young woman at one of the many tables on the college green sold muffins to support the Harry Potter Alliance, "an army of fans, activists, nerdfighters, teenagers, wizards and muggles dedicated to fighting for social justice with the greatest weapon we have-- love." The poster at her table bears a quote from J.K. Rowling's commencement address at Harvard University on June 5, 2008: "We do not need magic to transform our world. We carry all the power we need inside ourselves already. We have the power to imagine better." Watch video here.

 


Grandpa tattoed on her arm

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>> MIKAELA JENSON ROSEMAN (MJR): You want me to tell you the story of my tattoos?  Okay. So my left arm is pretty much a dedication to my grandfather. I have this one up here  which is a line drawing of him. He served in World War II so that’s why I have the Purple Heart in there ‘cause he received one of those awards. He passed away in 2001 and then I got this one to memorialize him which is a biblical passage.

>> CLOSE UP: DO YOU KNOW IT BY HEART?

I know the passage but to be honest with you I don’t know any more the verse.

>> CU: “SEE UPON THE PALMS OF MY HAND, I HAVE CARVED YOUR NAME.” WHAT DO YOU RECALL ABOUT THAT PASSAGE?

I actually first heard about it in a class I was taking at Temple. I was a religion minor. And when I heard it I thought that it  was a very good, a really good quote for a memorial tattoo. And I sort have always moderately considered adding more to my arm, like more pictures of my grandfather. He did a lot of stained glass work when he was still alive and I have a lot of that left. So I wanted to have some of those pictures maybe added.   A lot of my tattoos I’d say aside from these ones are not – not that they have no point but they’re not as personally, I think, angled. And so I’ve sort of decided that since this is my arm obviously closer to my heart that I’ll have that dedicated for him.

WHAT WAS YOUR RLEATIONSHIP WITH HIM THAT YOU’D…

He was wonderful. He was born in 1907. His name was Albert  Furman Jensen and he passed away in 2001.  He had a very lucky, nice passing I think. And I just remember being really close with him growing up.  So I remember being a kid, he had white hair, his nickname was “Whitey.” Even when he was a kid he had white hair. I just remember combing his hair at their house in Upper Darby when I was a little girl. He got Alzheimer’s later in life and he would have lucid moments as well. And so he always knew who I was, even when he was …Alzheimer’s. I remember one day I tried to microwave a  thing of peanut butter And it had the wrapper on it still. It burst into flames in the microwave.  And my 89 year old grandfather at the time sprinted through the house to get to the kitchen to put it out.  So you know I have all these varied distinct memories of him, all really positive ones and even though it’s been a while, I was twelve. Yeah, I was eleven or twelve when he passed away. Now I’m twenty-five but I still think about him all the time.   

Here’s the only picture that I have in my wallet.  And this is the one that I always considered getting a portrait of him

So I have these puzzle pieces that I have on my arm that are meant  to be for me and my best friend who I’ve known since I was four. I have “Love” and “Peace” on my wrist because those are ideals I’d like to live by contrary to how it usually goes. I have a fish on my neck because I was very interested in marine biology. And then on my back which you really won’t be able to see. I have wings on my back and a William Blake quote in between them that says “Those who restrain desire, do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained," which is a quote from his piece, “The Marriage of Heaven and Hell”

>> CU; DO YOU EVER WORRY THAT YOU’LL FALL OUT OF LOVE WITH SOMETHING YOU’VE TATTOOED ON?

 

No. Never. I haven’t so far. You know some of my tattoos, on the back of my neck up here I have this little heart which has no sentimental meaning whatsoever- it was something I got because I was in New York City and I wanted a tattoo in New York City and I picked it off of the wall and I really don’t regret any of them at all. I still like them.  You know for me it’s either that I remember something that happened when I got it or for the ones that  like actually do mean something more personal to me, you know like in ten years I’m not going to decide all of a sudden that I don’t like my grandfather anymore, you know?

Grandpa tattooed on her arm